Community Cats and the Importance of TNR

Community Cats are the unowned, free-roaming cats many of our citizens find inhabiting their backyard, orchard, garage, farmland, etc. Many of these cats are considered “Feral”, or too poorly socialized to be placed as a typical pet.

According to a 2004 study by the American Veterinary Medical Association, a typical female cat in a feral colony has about 2 litters per year, producing 3 kittens on average. Unfortunately 75% of those kittens die or disappear before 6 months of age, most often due to trauma. However the 25% that do survive will continue to reproduce, and the colony grows.

The HSVC supports the management of feral cat colonies through TNR (Trap/Neuter/Return), which includes scanning for the presence of a microchip, vaccination, sterilization, flea control and ear tipping. Ear tipping involves removing just the very tip of the cat’s left ear, which serves as a visual indicator that the cat has been sterilized and therefore does not need to be trapped again. This procedure is quick and painless, performed under general anesthesia at the time of sterilization. TNR services are provided FREE for any feral cat brought to the HSVC Clinic in a humane trap on surgery days (Tuesday-Thursdays). This will help to reduce the overpopulation of feral and stray cats in our community.

Research by the ASPCA shows that TNR programs not only reduce and control feral colony size, there is also less smell from the colony due to fewer male cats spraying, less noise due to fighting, and decreased mortality of kittens and less disease due to vaccination.

Do you have a feral cat colony on your property but are unable to trap them? Please contact the HSVC at 805-646-6505 or [email protected]. There is a network of feral cat advocates in Ventura County that may be able to trap them for you or assist with transportation. If you are interested in becoming a feral cat trapper, please contact the Leigh Busse of the Community Cat Coalition of Ventura County at [email protected]. To support our TNR program, please consider purchasing a feral cat trap from our Amazon Wish List to add to our loaner supply or call to make a donation. A sterilized feral cat, if allowed to live out its natural life, can often have a lifespan similar to a pet cat. Those cats and HSVC thank you!  

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